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Father of Deepwater Horizon Victim Fights to Change Maritime Law

The father of a rig worker killed in the Deepwater Horizon blast earlier this year is looking for answers in his son's death. He is appalled by the way archaic maritime laws protect the oil industry instead of providing compensation for families torn apart by maritime injuries and death.

For this father, the fact that individuals who are harmed or killed at sea are entitled to much less than those who suffer the same fate on shore is appalling. For example, when there was an explosion at BP's Texas City refinery, the oil giant paid out $1.6 billion to settle the claims of those who were injured or killed. However, the Death on the High Seas Act of 1920 only allows his son's widow to receive the salary his son would have earned during his career, minus personal expenses and taxes. Worse still, the families of rig workers who were unmarried and did not have children will only be entitled to funeral expenses.

These unfair results have inspired this father to become an activist. He has visited Washington eight times, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee, asking for changes in the law. He actively gives interviews and serves as a panelist at public forums. He firmly believes that the only way to prevent tragedies like these from occurring in the future is to deter companies like BP from bad behavior by hitting them with substantial financial penalties.

Although the father's efforts have yet to be rewarded, he refuses to give up. He vows to keep fighting until the laws are fair.

Source: AOL News "Father's Mission: Finding Why Son Died in BP Blast," Laura Parker, 12 December 2010

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